‘Villages lose $12m’

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Tourism Minister Viliame Gavoka flanked by Yako Villagers after the traditional welcome in Sigatoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

The Surfing Decree cost a number of villages along the Nadroga coastline about $12 million, says Minister for Tourism and Deputy Prime Minister Viliame Gavoka.

Speaking to villagers of Yako, Nadroga, he said with the coalition Government, those communities would now be able to have another much needed source of income.

“One of the issues that have come up which is dear to them is the issue of the Surfing Decree for Yako, Nabila and Momi,” Mr Gavoka said.

“Somebody took that away from them. They had lost about $12 million.” Mr Gavoka said those policy changes were the result of people voting for change.

“Now they know that through their votes that can be restored,” Mr Gavoka said. “So I am very happy about that. “For them to know that they are free and they have chosen their government.

“They know what is good for them and they have acted accordingly.” He reiterated that 37 pieces of legislation were up for review including the controversial Bill 17.

“The President had laid out in his speech the legislative program for the Coalition party and a significant part of that would be to repeal some of these decrees.

“You know, legislation like Bill 17, there was no consultation for that,” Mr Gavoka said.

“We don’t always react the way other people would have in that situation but now we are going through this change and we will be correcting that.

“We’re currently doing that and at the end of the day the most important thing to remember is the message that Prime Minister Rabuka has been saying all along,” he said.

“The message of forgiveness and love and you need that to heal.”

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